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OT: Windows Disaster Time

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Jim Thompson, Jul 21, 2005.

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  1. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I've got a blue screen issue...

    All of a sudden I acquired a "Search results" icon on my desktop.

    Where it came from I have no idea, sometimes my sloppy mouse movements
    get things on the desktop that don't belong.

    I right-clicked in an attempt to delete it... no dice, no delete
    option.

    So, like a dummy, I drug it onto the toolbar, figuring it to be a copy
    of Explorer.

    No dice.

    So I re-booted.

    So I get an error message, "Explorer (no surprise) has committed an
    illegal" something or other, then I get a blue screen.

    Turns out the machine still "talks", I'm running this message right
    now by loading Agent using Task Manager.

    OS is Win2K.

    Any ideas on how to fix?

    No smart-ass remarks about Linux, PLEASE ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  2. Have you loaded the new Msn 'toolbar'?.
    In this, under 'search', there is an option 'desktop', which puts a search
    icon on the desktop.
    Now if this is what has generated it, you may be able to get rid of it by
    going to Msn search on the web, and selecting 'restore defaults'. It is
    normally removable using the options in the toolbar. However I can't see
    why an icon on the desktop, should cause an explorer crash on boot, so I'd
    be incined to look in the 'startup' folder (or use regedit to look here
    manually), and see if it is actually launching something.
    Have you rebooted more than once?. Otherwise 'last known good' from F8 at
    bootup, might get you back to a working machine.

    Best Wishes
     
  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Jim,

    Did you (or rather, can you still) run a newer virus checker program on
    that PC? If it's too shot to do that I am afraid you might be looking at
    a complete Windows re-install :-(

    Hopefully you don't have to...

    Regards, Joerg
     
  4. Hey Linux isnt much better you can easily screw that up too. And it'll take longer to repair unless you know a guru.

    I would try to run a chkdsk /f and see what comes up. Since you can run TaskMgr, run 'cmd'

    You might have a corrupted file.

    Can you run Explorer from TaskMgr?

    Record the Dll name that caused the crash, sometimes replacing the DLL (delete and copy a fresh one) solves the problem.

    Cheers
     
  5. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I run a scan weekly, and Norton sits there scanning anything inbound,
    so I don't _think_ it's a virus.

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Jim,
    That should be a pretty good protection. It depends on the settings, IOW
    what you are allowing Norton to bless WRT downloads etc. I also have a
    HW firewall between the biz network and anything outside.

    The reason I am thinking a re-install may be in the cards is that you
    mentioned that Explorer crashes the system. Assuming that is Windows
    Explorer and not IE that can be serious because it is a fairly integral
    part of Windows. A SW engineer at a client once told me that a broken
    Windows Explorer is like driving around with a frayed timing belt.

    Regards, Joerg
     
  7. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I also have a HW firewall (Barricade). I have Norton configured with
    NO "blessings", all downloads must ask for my OK.
    I've verified that Windows Explorer is indeed the culprit.
    I'm really not OS-savvy, so here goes the dumb question: Does an OS
    re-install destroy all my installed programs? :-(

    I can easily back-up everything, the network is working, and I have
    ample drive space on other machines.

    But I'd rather not have to re-install all the programs I own :-(

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Jim,
    That's the way to go. I am also running with the SMC Barricade. Nice
    solid design.
    Not a good sign :-(
    I am not either. Have to leave that to the OS gurus. AFAIK it works like
    this: While the OS re-install may not destroy the actual folders and
    subdirectories of your applications you could end up with a blank
    registry and other blank settings. So most likely they need to be
    re-installed. But I am not an expert on that. I had just seen an IT guy
    do exactly that when it happened on a machine at a client. Next to the
    OS CD he brought all the others that were registered as being on the system.

    Regards, Joerg
     
  9. Guest

    With an operating system like Windows, who needs virii?

    When confronted with problems like that, I usually wipe and format the
    boot drive, re-install the OS, and re-install applications I've recently used
    along with saved data files from my latest backup.

    Jim
     
  10. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Can't you simply get a good copy of explorer.exe and write it over the
    damaged copy.

    Graham
     
  11. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    That's a good idea, all 4 of my machines run Win2K.

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Yep, I can boot into safe mode, but what will that buy me?

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  13. Can you start in safe mode (F8 on boot)? There's also last known good
    in that menu, but IIRC, you might trash some recent installations with
    that choice.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  14. IME, an install over the previous version wipes out nothing (but may
    not fix your problem). An install in a new Win directory wipes out all
    the installations of all programs (but generally leaves all your data
    intact).



    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  15. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    I'm really not OS-savvy, so here goes the dumb question:
    While they are installing, (except for very tiny apps)
    Windoze-compatible software makes changes to the Registry.
    This is why you can't just drag & drop an application directory
    from a backup disk onto a HDD and get the app to work.

    In short the answer is:
    After an OS reinstall, you have to reinstall apps.

    Larkin was talking about this a while back.
    When his installs are still quite young,
    he uses something like Norton Ghost to "clone" the drive
    by making an image of the HDD onto another HDD.

    At a time when you have a stable system, CLONE IT.
    Hard drives are so cheap now
    that clone backups for mission-critical stuff
    (even rotating backups) seems like a no-brainer.

    WARNING: Here comes the Linux crack.

    Saying "mission-critical" while talking about Windoze
    just seems absurd.
     
  16. From Safe mode you can selectivly turn off services and other drivers that load during the boot phase.
    Possible remove the software you wanted to.
     
  17. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    In Safe Mode I'm getting the same blank screen as in normal mode. yet
    I can load any program via Task Manager.

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  18. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    This is really a misleading statement. When you go to install Windows, it'll
    ask you if you want to perform a "fresh" installation or just "re-install" it.
    In the later case, it attempts to keep all your old programs working.
    Unfortunately, what this effectively means is that it doesn't completely
    "clean" the registry, and there are plenty of scenarios where re-installing
    the OS doesn't help and you end up having to do a "clean" install anyway (and
    re-install all your apps).
    Yeah, not a bad idea!
    Windows isn't, at its core, any less stable or usable than Linux. The kernel
    is actually somewhat more sophisticated that Linux's, which I suspect is why
    Microsoft's IIS typically beats Linux's Apache for throughput.

    ---Joel
     
  19. budgie

    budgie Guest

    That's also my understanding. Over-the-top reinstals accept the existing
    registry, warts and all. If the problem is registry-based (and most unwanted
    "features" entrench themselves in the registry to execute at startup) then it
    won't fix the issue. If it is a corrupted WinExploder file then an O-T-T
    *should* fix it.

    I'd be inclined to try identifying the "feature". Try AdAware and Spybot S&D
    for starters, and also try an alternative virus scanner. I use F-Prot's free
    DOS version for that task.
     
  20. Oh, run 'cmd' and then run a chkdsk /f. See if your disk is corrupt.

    Martin
     
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